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May 15, 2023

The most popular pizza toppings in the US

Which are the most popular pizza toppings in America? Are the preferences of all States uniform or is there significant variation among them?

Asking yourself these questions is crucial, both if you are planning to open your own pizza restaurant or you want to boost your actual one. Pizza is one of the Americans’ favorite foods, with even a National Pizza Day on February 9th!

But what do Americans actually buy?

If you’re running a pizza shop, you would probably already serve most of the most classic, beloved pizza toppings. But even so, having a clear picture of the market can help you to optimize your offer, reduce waste, and better focus your marketing actions.

Clearly, collecting and analyzing data is often not an easy task. To obtain a trustworthy overview of which are the Americans’ favorite pizza toppings, you should always take into account seasonality, data sources, variance, and other statistical variables that might affect the findings.

Nevertheless, we found a couple of studies that confirmed each other and gave us some really convincing insights.

YouGov’s and Roemmele’s findings

YouGov and the business advisor Brian Roemmele carried out two studies that gave us a few similar findings.

The first research collected data from a poll that asked 6000 US adults about their pizza topping preference. In the poll, they have been asked to list both their most liked and disliked pizza flavors. This results show us a quite detailed landscape about the most popular pizza toppings.

According to YouGov’s findings, the results have shown a crushing victory for pepperoni pizza. 64% of the respondents affirmed in fact to appreciate the iconic topping.

Following right after pepperoni, the findings determined a recurring preference for sausage (56%), mushrooms (54%), extra cheese (52%), and onions (48%).

Regarding the most disliked toppings, they found out the big loser topping was anchovies (61% affirmed to dislike them on pizza), followed by eggplant (52%), artichokes (44%) and broccoli (39%). The controversial pineapple stands 5th in the loser charts (35% of dislikes), but at the same time has been appreciated by 26% of the respondents.

As Italians pineapple on pizza sends shivers down our spine, but when you compare this data with that coming from some other studies, that’s one of the most interesting findings!

Most liked and disliked pizza toppings in the US

The second study, carried out by Brian Roemmele who analyzed 640 medium pizza restaurants’ POS, shows some similar data. Pepperoni appears to be the crushing winner again with a 36% of preferences over any other pizza topping.

Overall, this research shows how meat toppings are Americans’ favorite and they account for a rough 61% of the orders. The trend has shown that meat consumption as topping had been reducing for 8 years, and then rising again in the last 3. 

Here’s the pie chart of Brian Roemmele’s findings:

Favorite pizza toppings in the US
by Brian Roemmele

What’s the favorite pizza topping in each State?

Regarding the second question we pointed out in the introduction, we have a few more data.

How To Cook Recipes analyzed in fact the data available on Google Trends, by taking into account each State’s trend and their search interest score. This way they could determine with a convincing level of approximation which toppings are on average the most requested ones in each individual State in America. 

As a result, the findings are super interesting. Whereas indeed pepperoni topping is as always the top scorer overall, according to this new data it looks like pineapple comes (outrageously!) right after.

By comparing this data with the one of the previous studies, we might assume that pineapple can be considered the REAL controversy, accounting as both one of the most beloved and hated topping across the US.

Here’s the full country map made by How To Cook Recipes:

Most popular pizza flavors in each State
How To Cook Recipes

Folllowing, the list of the most popular pizza flavors in each State. As we already explained, the search interest score represents how intensively people are looking for them online.

Most popular pizza toppings State by State

Alabama: Mushrooms (Search interest score: 74)

Alaska: Pepperoni (Search interest score: 45)

Arizona: Anchovies (Search interest score: 75)

Arkansas: Bacon (Search interest score: 69)

California: Pineapple (Search interest score: 70)

Colorado: Basil (Search interest score: 49)

Connecticut: Onions (Search interest score: 90)

Florida: Pineapple (Search interest score: 52)

Georgia: Mushrooms (Search interest score: 100)

Hawaii: Pineapple (Search interest score: 73)

Idaho: Bacon (Search interest score: 64)

Illinois: Sausage (Search interest score: 83)

Indiana: Sausage (Search interest score: 100)

Iowa: Bacon (Search interest score: 100)

Kansas: Bacon (Search interest score: 100)

Kentucky: Tomato (Search interest score: 100)

Louisiana: Peppers (Search interest score: 65)

Maine: Peppers (Search interest score: 100)

Maryland: Pineapple (Search interest score: 88)

Massachusetts: Pineapple (Search interest score: 49)

Michigan: Bacon (Search interest score: 72)

Minnesota: Olives (Search interest score: 100)

Mississippi: Pepperoni (Search interest score: 50)

Missouri: Pepperoni (Search interest score: 69)

Montana: Pepperoni (Search interest score: 86)

Nebraska: Pineapple (Search interest score: 100)

Nevada: Onions (Search interest score: 100)

New Hampshire: Pepperoni (Search interest score: 52)

New Jersey: Pineapple (Search interest score: 63)

NY: Extra cheese (Search interest score: 100)

New Mexico: Anchovies (Search interest score: 100)

North Carolina: Olives (Search interest score: 69)

North Dakota: Pepperoni (Search interest score: 100)

Ohio: Basil (Search interest score: 100)

Oklahoma: Pepperoni (Search interest score: 66)

Oregon: Pineapple (Search interest score: 89)

Pennsylvania: Pepperoni (Search interest score: 53)

South Carolina: Mushrooms (Search interest score: 79)

South Dakota: Bacon (Search interest score: 56)

Tennessee: Mushrooms (Search interest score: 64)

Texas: Pepperoni (Search interest score: 65)

Utah: Pineapple (Search interest score: 75)

Vermont: Extra cheese (Search interest score: 56)

Virginia: Pineapple (Search interest score: 87)

Washington: Onions (Search interest score: 83)

West Virginia: Pepperoni (Search interest score: 78)

Wisconsin: Sausage (Search interest score: 79)

Wyoming: Pepperoni (Search interest score: 31)

Give the people what they (really) crave for

Being aware of the available data and pizza topping trends gives any pizza restaurant a significant advantage that must be taken into consideration.

Now that you know which are the most popular pizza toppings in the US, you’re halfway to success. Because for any food business to thrive, it’s essential to give people what they ask for! Listening for their needs and demands it’s the very starting point to build a satisfied, loyal, customer base.

Of course, including pepperoni in your menu it’s not a key to success. Who doesn’t include pepperoni in its menu today in the US?! Anyway, it’s a first step to understand your ideal customer, even when you’re willing to innovate your menu by adding new flavors.

Nevertheless, as we’ll never cease to stress out, the real driver for making your pizza restaurant achieve success will always be your product’s quality.

Make a delicious, unique pizza, and people won’t crave for a random pepperoni pizza, rather instead for YOUR pepperoni pizza!

If you want to massively raise your pizza quality, then you can do yourself a favor… which is investing in the best professional equipment available on the market and start making an outstanding pizza that will make you proud.

Get in touch with us to get a quote!

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